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Madame Blavatsky Overdrive - Hidden Masters Under Dead Suns CD (album) cover

HIDDEN MASTERS UNDER DEAD SUNS

Madame Blavatsky Overdrive

 

Crossover Prog

4.00 | 2 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

VanVanVan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I've been getting really into this self-dubbed "progressive pop" band lately, and I have to say that I think this is my favorite of theirs I've listened to so far (though there are still four E.P.s and an album I have yet to hear, so we'll see if that changes).

The first thing of note here is that the writing has tightened up significantly since their first album. That's not surprising, since there was a three year gap in between that release and this one. Their first album often felt as if they were trying too hard to make their brand of pop music progressive, with the result being that songs were often needlessly weird and unnatural feeling. This music sounds a lot smoother and more mature.

The album begins with "Oh The Aphids!" a track which I think can be best described with the word "happy." It's a fairly simple song structurally, but the spacey arrangements work really well and it's a nice little psychedelic song. "The Belldog," operates primarily around a repeating chord progression coupled with a nice little bassline, and it's much closer stylistically to the more aggressive work of their first album. However, as I mentioned before, despite the song's seven minute length, it doesn't sound forced. I wish there was a bit more dynamism as the song really is pretty repetitive, but it's certainly not boring. Honestly, I can hear quite a bit of Muse influence in this song, but the vocals are much more subdued. "West Grand," puts bass and drums at the forefront, adding a very cool and spooky sounding vocal line behind the chorus. The result is a fairly minimalistic sounding song, but in a good way. "The Armies of The Dead" closes off the E.P. It begins with a fairly orchestrated intro but that quickly drops away to just an acoustic guitar and voice. The orchestration is added back in at the end of the first verse, allowing the song to start strong but also build in intensity. Of the four songs on this E.P. this one definitely has the best ambience to it and it was an excellent choice to use it as the closer.

Overall, I would probably recommend anyone looking to try out MBO to start with this. It's short, it's tight, and it gives you a good idea of what the band is all about. Also, it has very nice artwork and, like all the band's music, it's a free download from their website. Well worth the twenty minutes you'll spend listening to it.

4/5

VanVanVan | 4/5 |

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